The Raffles family overseas

You may be familiar with the 121-year-old grand dame that is Raffles Hotel, but some surprises are in store at her offshoots in far-flung corners of the world. what you might not know …

• The Raffles Beijing will host the International Olympics Committee come the Games in August. It is, of course, fully booked.

• The historic Le Royal Monceau in Paris will be closed for restoration works in June to be helmed by legendary French designer Philippe Starck.

• The new Raffles Dubai, the brainchild of Sheikh Mana Khalifa Al Maktoum, features a one-hectare tropical garden housing over 129,000 plants – because the sheikh is an avid fan of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

• Between now and 2011, new additions to the family will pop up in Bali, the British Virgin Islands, China, the French Polynesia islands, Macau, the Maldives, Morocco, the Philippines, Seychelles, Thailand, Vietnam and the West Indies.

• In three years, the hotel hopes to extend operations to Asian cities such as Tokyo and Hong Kong and venture into the massive Middle East territory.

Source : Today – 28 Apr 2008

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